Chapter

Ascending the Throne

Gholam R. Afkhami

in The Life and Times of the Shah

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780520253285
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520253285.003.0004
Ascending the Throne

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In 1939, as war broke out in Europe, Russia was Iran's main worry. Communism, a mystery to most Iranians, was generally disliked because it was “godless,” clearly to be shunned and condemned. Its creed ran counter to Iranians' sense of authenticity. The war caught Iran in a bad time. An inflationary spiral had taken hold while salaries had remained fixed. Oil revenues had gone down, retarding industrial growth. The Germans buttered up the shah; the British fought with him. At the time, the only major power the shah was able to pressure was England, because of England's dependence on the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The last days of Reza Shah on the throne were traumatic for him and for his son. His policy was to accommodate the Allies while maintaining Iran's neutrality. But he had misread the Russians and particularly the British.

Keywords: communism; Russia; Iran; Reza Shah; oil revenues; AIOC; England; World War II; Allies

Chapter.  11958 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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